Working for change beyond election day

3 Nov


As election results are continuing to come in I wonder how exciting it would be if the number of people who voted today  would continue to remain engaged with their elected officials and government beyond election day.

Election day is just one day in the democratic process. Civic engagement is a contact sport. Suit up!



19 Oct

KRS One on his birthday wearing my hat!

Last year The Urban League of Flint hosted the Community Cultural Arts Festival. KRS-One was the featured artist. While he was here in Flint, MI I designed a hat for him for his birthday. I was honored that he wore it at the 2009 BET Hip-Hop Awards during the cypher segment. It looks great on him!!!

KRS-One appears at 4:00

The cypher:

KRS is featured in segment 2.


photo courtesy of Arian Muhammad

Campaign Market Tote

24 Aug

I am not sure how many campaigns I have worked in a paid or volunteer capacity.  At the end of every campaign you  end up with three things : a win (hopefully), literature, and at least one t-shirt.   The literature immediately goes into the recycle bin, except for one or two pieces for my scrapbook.  You can’t really do anything about the victory (or defeat).  The t-shirts are regulated to pajama shirts or collect dust in my drawer.

Campaign shirts are usually not fashionable.  Usually the decision is made to order shirts that “everyone can wear”.  Unfortunately those sizes do not align with my fashion sense.  They are baggy , the sleeves end at my elbows, and the fabric doesn’t silhouette my frame. The really large shirts bring back memories of playing in my parents clothes.

Today I went to the Flint Farmers Market and after looking in my car I discovered that I didn’t bring any bags.  Being the innovative person that I am, I used an unfinished no-sew pillow made out an old t-shirt.  I absolutely loved it! I decided I wanted to make a market tote using the same technique. Since I have a lot of t-shirts from old campaigns, I thought it would be a wonderful way to repurpose a t-shirt and  reminisce over my involvement in the campaign.

You need:

  • One t-shirt (I used a large t-shirt, but you can use whatever you have on-hand).
  • Scissors Note:  Paper dulls scissors. I have a pair of scissors that I only use for cutting fabric.   It is worth investing in a pair of scissors to only cut fabric.
  • Ruler is optional but not necessary.  I eyeballed everything, but if you spaz out over crooked lines, then please use the ruler.
  1. Lay out the t-shirt on the floor or other flat surface. Cut off the seam at the bottom of the t-shirt.
  2. Cut off both sleeves at the seams. (It is now sleeveless, lol)!
  3. Cut off the shoulder and collar of the shirt, using lowest part of the neck as a guide.
  4. T-shirt with sleeves, bottom seam, collar, and shoulders removed

  5. Cut two two-inch wide bands from the bottom of the t-shirt (for handles).
  6. Cut a 4×4 inch square from the bottom two corners of the t-shirt.
  7. T shirt with bottom two corners removed

    T shirt with bottom corners and tote handles removed

  8. Cut up both sides of the t-shirt, separating them into two pieces.
  9. With both pieces of the shirt held together, cut one-inch wide strips around the two sides and bottom.
  10. Cutting 1" wide x 4" long strips

    Campaign shirt with all three sides cut into strips

  11. Double knot each strip pair. (You will knot the strip from the top and bottom pieces together).
  12. knotting the top and bottom pieces together

  13. Starting on the top left side of the bag, take one of the handle loops and insert it in the space between the first and second knot. Once through, open the handle and slide the smaller slide through the opening and tighten to close.  Repeat for the other side.
  14. take one half of the handle and push through the open space of the other handle. tighten to close.

    Handle after tightening handle loop

  15. If you like really long handles then you are done! You can cut down the loops to whatever length s comfortable to you and re-knot.  However I am using this to haul groceries.  So….
  16. I cut the loop end of the handle and retied on the opposite end in the space between the first and second knot.

Completed tote!

Voilà! You are done.  Now you can enjoy that past campaign everytime you go to the farmers market, grocery shop, or give away as gifts to other politicos like yourself.  Some other pics…..

Hanging from a tree with approximatively 10lbs of vegetables

wearing the tote

This has the stretchiness and comfort of a t-shirt, so be prepared for many more years of enjoyment!